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How to plant a tree or shrub

How to plant a tree or shrub

Planting a tree, shrub, or rose bush is an important for the plant you have just purchased.

After growing in a container in a nursery or garden store, your plant moves to a new environment to which it must adapt.

Carefully follow each of the steps below, and your shrubs and trees will grow perfectly!

How to plant shrubs and trees

The best season to plant a tree or shrub is fall. But it is still possible to plant in winter, except when it freezes, or in spring before the heavy summer heat.

If you are planting in spring, make sure you can water regularly during the first year after planting.

  • Readying soil for plantingBreak up the soil that was dug out. Check that odd bits and pieces have been removed, such as rocks or old root wood.
  • Dig a hole 4 to 5 times wider than the clump of the plant you are transferring.
  • In compact soil, loosen it up in the next few feet as well, with a broadfork to avoid back pain.
  • Add planting soil mix and an organic soil conditioner such as manure and seaweed.
    If your soil is heavy clay, you can also add sand to your mix.

Read also: Soil mix, what is it good for?

  • You may let the clump sit in a bucket of water for a few minutes to rehydrate the soil and roots of the tree or shrub. You can also experiment with root dip for even better results, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • Planting a treeCarefully run your fingers or a tool through the clump to untangle the roots without wounding them, if they’re too woven into one another.
  • Add a bit of organic soil conditioner or fertilizer as you mix it to the soil mix at the bottom of the hole.
  • Add a small pile of loose soil mix at the center to sit your sapling atop of, and place your tree or shrub in the center of the hole, carefully spreading the roots out along the bottom.
  • Make sure the root crown is level with the ground (slightly above it if you plan to add mulch).
  • Fill the hole in with the prepared mix (garden soil + peat + soil conditioner).
  • Lightly press the soil down.
  • Provide for regular, abundant watering over the first year after planting.

Tips on planting shrubs

  • For trees or shrubs that are over 40 inches (1 m) tall, staking is recommended.
  • This protects against bending and breaking when weather is windy.

Planting certain types of plants specifically

Ideas of shrubs to plant

Smart tip about planting shrubs and trees

With a few easy tips, you can reduce the inevitable: transplant shock. For instance, water once with sugar water to help tree roots settle in!

Video on how to plant a shrub or tree


Images: adobestock: Eduard SV, CC BY 2.0: Kandukuru Nagarjun, CC BY-SA 2.0: Ciarán Mooney
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  • lloyd deeble wrote on 21 October 2021 at 9 h 06 min

    Can I put a Judas tree in a large planter to restrict its size

    • Gaspard wrote on 21 October 2021 at 14 h 02 min

      Hello again LLoyd, yes you can – growing it in a planter will definitely restrict its size. This is because the root system will only have you give it to feed on, and there’s also less water reserves in the soil which also slows growth. The few tips you need to remember, though, are that you have to topdress every 2-3 years to renew the soil a bit, and give it healthy fertilizer during the growing season. If you don’t give it food, it’ll grow fine at the start but then will start getting scrawny and sick with diseases.

  • JOSE LUIS Proenza wrote on 22 November 2019 at 5 h 09 min

    I have podocarpus maki planted for hedge I place a dripping system one gallon per feet per hour, how much water I should use with coffe dripping tube.